On Sunday, the dry run was kicked off in Bangladesh by administering the first booster dose to nurse Runu Veronica Costa, who received the first shot of the country’s Covid19 vaccine at 12:40pm.
According to a media report, later, a total of 36 people including 5 ministers and top health officials, media persons and others received the Covid19 booster dose till 2 pm.
Bangladesh health minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the programme at Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mohakhali in in Dhaka.
In his inaugural speech, health minister Maleque said the frontliners and the elderly would be given priority in the Covid19 booster vaccination drive and the Pfizer vaccine for Covid19 would be administered as booster shots.
The health minister further said the vaccination drive would be extended across the country phase-wise.
The booster dose would be effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Maleque added.
The other Bangladesh ministers who also received the booster dose included foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, law minister Anisul Huq, health minister Zahid Maleque, fisheries & livestock minister SM Rezaul Karim and, post and telecommunication minister Mustafa Jabbar.
The registration for the booster dose vaccine through the Surokkha platform had been delayed due to upgradation work, according to the health minister.
“The ICT Ministry has informed us that the Surokkha platform will be updated by December 28. So, in the meantime, the government will continue to administer booster doses through vaccine cards,” the minister said.
Besides Bangladesh, many countries in Europe have also stepped up their booster dose campaigns.
The bosster campaign has been started with 2 doses of the vaccines has proved to be less effective against the newly-detected Omicron variant of Covid19.
But in India, health officials have so far publicly maintained that the country will first vaccinate its adult population with 2 doses of Covid19 vaccines before introducing the booster dose.
According to another report, about 42.4 crore people or 44% of India’s adult population, are still to be fully vaccinated, as of December 17, 2021.
According to studies a third vaccine shot strengthens the body’s immune response against the virus significantly.
It is not known when a final decision on recommending a booster dose will be taken by the Indian government.
Senior government sources said the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) — the apex body that provides vaccination guidance to the government after technical review of the scientific evidence on immunisation policy and programmes — is still assessing the requirement for boosters.